Top ATS Picks for College Football Week 1
The wait is nearly over and the new football season will be here before you know it, folks! The 2016 NCAA College Football season is set kicks off in two-and-a-half months, specifically on Friday, August 26 when the California Bears of Pac-12 face the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors of the Mountain West Conference in a so-called Sydney Cup clash at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia, and the opening week will run until Monday, September 5th when Florida State will host Mississippi in a mouthwatering ACC-SEC Week 1 brawl. Obviously, the 2016 NCAAF betting boards will go into overdrive with a hive of activities once the Bears and Warriors kick it off for us. Ready yourself for all that online sportsbooks action with these early 2016 college football Week 1 top ATS picks.
Top ATS Picks for College Football Week 1
California (-23) vs. Hawaii, Friday, August 26
NCAAF Week 1 ATS pick: California (-23)
Expectedly, most of the Aussies will most likely be pulling for Hawaii in this game. If this was a rugby or Aussie Rules Football matchup, I’d have easily jumped on the Rainbow Warriors. Sadly, this is American Football and the Golden Bears—who finished 2015 among the best offensive units in the Pac-12—are too talented to be stopped by Hawai. Not having QB Jared Goff (now with the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL) will be tough, but the Bears return with sufficient pieces to deliver a colorful blowout win over the Rainbow Warriors.
Oregon State vs. Minnesota (-7.5), Thursday, September 1
NCAAF Week 1 ATS pick: Minnesota (-7.5)
The Golden Gophers had a highly disappointing 5-7 regular season campaign in 2015 and the future looks questionable for the Minnesota team, largely because returning quarterback Mitch Leidner could barely muster any offense for his team. If you asked me, I don’t expect much improvement from Leidner and the Gophers, unless competing QBs Demry Croft and Seth Green are able to do better as potential starters. That said, Oregon State wasn’t any better than Minnesota last year and the Beavers haven’t done much to correct their morbid game from last year. So in this clash between two teams that are likely to disappoint in the 2016 NCAAF lines, we will go with the slightly better side—the Golden Gophers—hoping that new head coach Tracy Claey marks the start of Minnesota tenure with a win plus the cheap points.
LSU (-10) vs. Wisconsin, Saturday, September 3
NCAAF Week 1 ATS pick: LSU (-10)
So, it turns out the Badgers will be hosting LSU in America’s Dairyland. The good news; this is an a very early Big Ten-SEC showdown, so we are bound to get some decent football game from two teams that belong in the Power 5 conferences. The bad news; the Badgers will be facing 2016 Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fournette, who is coming off a monster season. So, if you really know what’s good for you, steer away from any wager that favors Wisconsin, as the beastly Fournette and the Tigers will tear apart the Badgers for a big double-digit winning massacre at the Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
Georgia (-3.5) vs. North Carolina, Saturday, September 3
NCAAF Week 1 ATS Pick: Georgia (-3.5)
Coming off a season that they excelled as Coastal Division Champions, the Tar Heels should definitely not be overlooked in this ACC-SEC thriller against the Bulldogs. Even so, North Carolina lost quarterback Marquise Williams and the team’s defense seemingly struggled when playing non-divisional opponents last year. Against a Georgia team that plays often its best under pressure and boasts of a solid up-tempo that is led by another 2016 Heisman trophy hot-shot in stud RB Nick Chubb, I fully trust that the Bulldogs will be able to get the job done handily to claim both the SU and ATS in this game.
USC vs. Alabama (-10), Saturday, September 3
NCAAF Week 1 ATS Pick: Alabama (-10)
With USC’s best player from last season, quarterback Cody Kessler, drafted by the Cleveland Browns, it’s hard to see the Trojans competing on the same level with the defending national champions, Alabama. USC’s Juju Smith-Schuster can rightfully stake a claim as being the best returning wide receiver in the nation, but without someone as competent as Kessler to throw the ball to him, he is likely to be rendered into another average performer by Alabama’s tried-and-proved defense. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide offense should be able to survive the absence of their Heisman Trophy winner RB Derrick Henry after a strong offseason that saw Nick Saban invest in some big-value attacking pieces, adding to the solid group he already modeled from last year’s NCAA Football championship-winning campaign.